Ultimate Guide To Buying A Car In Saskatoon

Buying a car isn’t a walk in the park because car dealers in Saskatoon are everywhere. Choosing which dealer to choose and trust is never easy as you don’t want to make a mistake. One slip up could cost you thousands of dollars and leave you with a heap of junk on your driveway.

But, it’s not only the car dealers in Saskatoon that you need to consider. Located in the province of Saskatchewan, there are certain features you have to factor in before you sign on the dotted line. Otherwise, the deal may be considered void or null. At the very least, understanding the warning signs will alert you to potential pitfalls that every car buyer should avoid.

Buying a car in Saskatoon is complicated, then as you have to cover a lot of bases if you want the best result possible. What you need is a car dealer Saskatoon guide that helps you dot the “i’S” and cross the “t’ S.” Well, you’ve found one because this post will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to buying a car. All you need to do is continue reading to find out more.

Saskatoon Rules And Regulations

Understanding the nitty-gritty of the rules and regulations should make it less likely for an error to occur and cost you a fortune. Of course, the majority of motorists don’t care too much about the red tape – they want a car that drives well, looks good and is affordable. The good news is that we are here to shoulder the burden by explaining the key details and translating them into easy-to-read English. There isn’t any jargonistic language meant to confuse the reader in this guide.

Vehicle License

As a rule, it’s wise to generalize and assume that a dealer needs a vehicle dealer license to trade cars in Saskatoon. Technically, anybody selling a vehicle that wasn’t used for personal, family or household purposes isn’t legally allowed to sell you a car without the proper permit. This is per the rules and regulations set out by “The Consumer Protection and Business Practices Regulations” act, the body in charge of making sure you don’t get ripped off.

There are a few exceptions to the rules, and there are as follows:

  • Someone who only sells vehicles to dealers;
  • An auction sales company licensed under The Auctioneers Act that only sells vehicles owned by others and not owned by the company;
  • Cars for sale by the Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) or a licensed insurer settling a claim;
  • A person who trades in vehicles to provide or facilitate financing for the purchase or lease of a vehicle. Or, a person who sells a car to a dealer that the person has repossessed or seized under a security agreement.
  • A secured creditor;
  • A business or government agency selling its fleet vehicles, but only if the business or government agency has owned the vehicles for more than one year;
  • Anybody acting under an order of a court or by statutory authority or an executor, estate trustee or other trustee or a lawyer who sells a vehicle in the course of the person’s duties;
  • A manufacturer, exporter, importer or distributor of vehicles that sell cars only to a licensed dealer or to a person who sells cars to an authorized dealer;
  • A person who leases vehicles to consumers for less than 120 days and does not sell the vehicles to the customer at the end of the lease.

Although it’s illegal to sell a car in the province of Saskatchewan without a license, some dealers still do it. So, you should check they are registered before buying. A legitimate car dealer in Saskatoon is listed on the FCAA webpage.


Business Premises

A car dealer in Saskatoon also needs to meet the “Premises Requirements” to sell vehicles. That means they need designated land for a display and storage that can hold at least six cars, as well as a business structure. Also, there must be a permanent sign.

Where salespersons are concerned, they must be around during business hours. If the dealership works on an appointment basis only, they should be available within three business days of the appointment being made and for a decent length of time.

Saving Money On Cars In Saskatoon

Buying a vehicle from a car dealer in Saskatoon means one thing – trying to cut costs. Whether you have a big, medium, or small budget, you want to grab a bargain and reduce the price wherever possible.

An excellent tip is to check the “drive-away price” on lots. In Saskatoon, dealers aren’t required to advertise a selling price, which means the majority of them don’t. The loophole is that any car dealer in Saskatoon that does advertise a price can’t sell it for any more money. It’s known as the drive-away price because the figure you are quoted is the one you pay to drive the car away. Any dealer that refuses is a company that you should avoid as they don’t care about the rules.

Something every buyer should keep in mind is the difference between the DAP and an MSRP sticker. The “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price” is usually considered an advertisement, yet there are limitations. For example, the marketing regulations don’t apply if specific manufacturers create stickers and place them on new cars. The same is true if out of state province manufacturers place the MSRP stickers on the vehicle. So, you should never assume the DAP and MSRP are the same thing or else it could cost you a significant sum.

If you don’t know how to tell the difference between the two, there is a simple solution. By law, the dealer has to disclose information about the car before they sell or lease it to a customer. One of the facts is whether there has been a drive-away price advertised or displayed. The total charges don’t include taxes and apply to consumers not paying via finance. If you aren’t paying cash, there might be other fees involved, such as the trade-in amount for your old vehicle.


A car dealer in Saskatoon is allowed to take a deposit from you as a downpayment for a vehicle. However, you should know that they can’t charge you more than 2% of the price of the car. Sticking to this 2% rule will stop you from spending too much money upfront, an amount that’s usually accepted in cash only so that you don’t overspend.

Remember that if you don’t sign a contract with a dealer, then they have to give you the deposit back in the same form it was given in the first place. They can’t return it as vouchers if you paid the deposit in cash. 


A warranty is a fantastic way to save money in the long-term. By paying extra, you can get the dealer or manufacturer to pay for repairs further down the line. Of course, it’s better if the warranty is thrown in free of charge. For cars in Saskatoon that have done fewer than 200,000km, it is. Dealers must give you a minimum guarantee of 30-days or 1,000km, whichever occurs first. The warranty is on the “power train,” which is limited to the engine, transmission, driveshafts, differentials, and the elements that deliver torque to the drive wheels.

Some dealers will attempt to sweeten the deal by offering things that you think are complementary. That way, you feel as if you are getting more bang for your buck and driving away with a relatively cheap vehicle. But, this isn’t the case if the guarantee is already included and they use it as a means to bump up the price. Always figure out which features are worth the money and which ones are smoke and mirrors to try and soften you up.

The Canadian Consumer Handbook

Part of cutting costs and getting a good deal is enhancing your car-buying skills. It’s tempting to think you either have it or you don’t, but the truth is the know-how is learnable. That’s why the Canadian Consumer Handbook was created – to help you become better informed and make more confident buying decisions.

At http://www.consumerhandbook.ca/en/topics/products-and-services/vehicle-purchase, you’ll find info on a variety of subjects to ensure you drive away with the perfect model.

Car Buying Checklist

It’s always nice to have bona fide car buying tips in your back pocket for when you need to negotiate a great price. So, we’ve taken some of the rules and regulations and used them to craft a checklist that every buyer can use to their advantage.

Before Purchasing: Ask if the dealer is licensed and double-check with the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan. Also, ask if there was an advertised price so that you can figure out if there is a drive-away price option. 

New Cars: Enquire about the DAP but don’t get it mixed up with the MSRP. The “Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price” is different and applies to stickers on the vehicle itself. If the advertisement is classed as the MSRP, a drive-away price won’t apply.

Check for damages. Any that happened as a result of moving the car to the lot or on the lot itself must be disclosed if they are equal to 20% of the vehicle’s value.

Demo Vehicles: A car dealer in Saskatoon is allowed to sell cars that are used for demo purposes. However, they need to disclose information before you sign on the dotted line. Firstly, an SGI vehicle information report is vital. Dealers you can trust should give it to you for free. Any that don’t or attempt to put you off getting an SGI report might be hiding something.

Another savvy move is to ask what the car was previously used for before it became a demo model. There is nothing wrong with buying a vehicle that was once a taxi or part of a police fleet, but you should factor in its history before making a purchase.

Don’t forget about the warranty period. For demo cars, the manufacturer often starts when it was driven as part of a demonstration. So, you might not get a manufacturer warranty as it could have already expired.

Leases: A lease agreement should explain the term “wear and tear.” You are liable for repairs caused by wear and tear, so it’s essential to understand your rights and what you might have to pay for in the future. Speak to the dealer about maintenance duties, too.

Mileage is an important consideration. Lots of dealers charge motorists who go over the designated number, which is why you need to write it down and keep it in mind. 

Finally, there is insurance. A car dealer in Saskatoon might include a policy within the deal, but it doesn’t mean the premiums cover everything. For starters, there is an excess charge for damages. Plus, it might be basic and not cover contents. The best solution is to use a personal policy so that there aren’t any gaps.

The Type Of Car: How To Decide

With thousands of makes and models available, picking one is a challenging job. A lot of it depends on what you want from a vehicle. If it’s affordability, an old or used car will be the best option. On the flip side, you will prefer something new if you like luxury and elegance from your vehicle.

The debate between new and second-hand cars is one that will rage on for decades. Still, here is a handful of things to bear in mind when buying from a car dealer in Saskatoon.


Used cars are okay as long as they don’t breakdown by the side of the road as you drive it home. How can you make sure this doesn’t happen? The solution is to make a purchase from a dealership rather than a private seller. The latter can be untrustworthy as expertise or industry standards don’t bind them. As long as an individual seller gets rid of a vehicle, they are happy and they don’t care. Car dealers in Saskatoon offer peace of mind as they provide warranties and guarantees in case the worst happens. You can also tell whether the price is fair by comparing them with other dealers in the area.

In Saskatoon, buyers have to pay a Provincial Sales Tax and Goods and Services Tax. The GST is hard to get around, but the PST isn’t if the vehicle has already been registered in Saskatoon. If it has, it’s not subject to the full PST and will cost you less. However, if it was registered in Canada and brought in from out of state, you will have to pay a bigger portion of the tax.

How popular was the make and model in its prime? The popularity of a car shouldn’t bother you because you’re driving it and nobody else. But, there is the subject of repairs to consider. When a used car breaks down, you’ll need to find a mechanic who can source the parts to fix it. Unpopular models will cost more to repair because the parts will be harder to find and install. Aside from the reliability of the car itself, this is one of the biggest factors as cars breakdown and you will need to get yours back on the road.

Take your time before committing. The first used car you see might be perfect, yet you shouldn’t take the seller at their word. Instead, do your research and make sure it’s a fantastic deal by asking around and viewing other vehicles. Also, ask for a safety inspection or the vehicle’s history report. Because they aren’t new, there is a higher chance that there a problem is lurking under the hood. It’s shocking, but nearly 60% of U.S imports have a negative history. An SGI safety report will alert you to potential issues, mechanical or structural, but you’ll need the Vehicle Identification Number.


If you’re in the market for a new or luxury car, you’re not alone. Recently, luxury car sales in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan have skyrocketed. The data by Saskatchewan Government Insurance shows that there has been a 27% increase in the past five years. There are now car dealers in Saskatoon that never existed a decade ago. Saskatoon, for example, opened the city’s first Maserati-Alfa Romeo showroom in 2017.

The good news is that money isn’t as much as an issue now. The reason attitudes towards luxury models are changing in Saskatoon and Saskatchewan is affordability. Today, lots of manufacturers that class as luxury brands, such as BMW, Audi, and Mercedes, sell models for $50,000 or less. So, you shouldn’t be held to ransom. Anything over $75,000 is too much money as you can find a similar car for $10,000 to $20,000 less.

Although lots of cars will be cheaper, you need to think about multiple payments. Plenty of motorists cut the upfront price only to pay more in repairs and maintenance. By choosing a reliable manufacturer, you can save money in the long-term, even though the initial cost will be higher. 

To decide, you might have to take your provincial attitude into account. Car dealers in Saskatoon believe there were old and outdated beliefs towards new cars in the past. Being from Saskatoon, you might still carry some of these prejudices that prevent you from investing in a quality vehicle. Don’t let embarrassment dictate what car you drive.

In-Car Features

Modern cars come with lots of gadgets, but not all of them are worth buying. Whereas some are useful and practical, others only serve to increase the price and make you pay more. Commercialism is alive and well in the automotive industry.

Knowing which in-car features are an investment and which ones are a waste is essential. To help, here are the gizmos we think you need and don’t need in Saskatoon. 

Worth Buying

A Multifaceted Tailgate

Lots of Canadians, especially in Saskatchewan, drive pickup trucks because the weather can escalate out of control throughout the year. A standard tailgate is fine, but it doesn’t add value to your lifestyle. With a multifaceted one, you can power it up and down to increase the accessibility; climb up into the cab thanks to the step; cover items with a flip-up lid, and convert it into a stand-up work surface.

Auto-Start & Stop

In Saskatoon, 54% of transportation is used to get to work or school. As a result, over 540kg of CO2 is produced every year in the region from cars alone. Considering Saskatchewan is a large province, the figure is only set to get bigger. Saving the planet is everyone’s duty because we only get one, and you can do your bit with an auto-start and stop feature. When the vehicle comes to a standstill, the engine shuts off to save fuel and reduce your carbon footprint. Once your foot comes off the brake, the engine will start again and you will be on your way.

Intuitive Headlights

There is nothing worse than coming up to another vehicle with its headlights at full blast causing you to squint and swerve on the road. Still, you don’t want to turn them off because research shows cars in Saskatoon are less likely to crash if their lights are on at all times. Thankfully, intuitive headlights automatically dip full beams if they sense another car approaching. They even do it if they come into a well-lit area. There is no better excuse to splurge on an in-car gadget than the safety of you and your passengers.

A Heated Steering Wheel

Saskatoon is a cold place to live in the dead of winter. The idea of putting your hands on freezing-cold leather for a couple of hours isn’t pleasant if you’ve forgotten your gloves. With a heated steering wheel, there is no need to worry because the leather will soon be warm to the touch. If you don’t want to feel the chill, this option is the way to go.

Alternatively, Saskatoon summers are hot, so you need a way to cool down. Today, air conditioning comes as standard in most cars, as do cooled seats.


Not Worth Buying


An all-wheel-drive seems like a good investment when the weather gets bad. However, you’ve got to remember that the majority of cars come with traction control. As a result, you can get as much grip on icy roads with 4-wheel and 2-wheel drive without forking out thousands of dollars. Also, the all-wheel-drive requires a lot more power and that wastes fuel, causing you to spend more on gas and pollute the environment.

Built-In Sat Nav

Saskatchewan is a big place and you won’t always know where you are going. A satellite navigation system is often the answer until you realize your cell phone does as good a job. Google Maps is reliable and interactive, providing you with up-to-date information on your route in real-time. And, if you lose service, it has a GPS function that allows you to track your position and plot your course. Considering you already have a navigation system in your pocket, there’s no reason to put an extra one in your car.

Unnecessary Wheels

Yes, wheels are flexible and should adapt to the season and terrain. Still, there’s no need to go overboard and fit the biggest rims you can find. Firstly, it looks terrible. Secondly, it negates the extra safety you assume it will add because it will unbalance the car. With the weight, the wheels might cause you to flip rather than stick to the road. Thirdly, they’ll void your insurance policy and you won’t get paid out if there is an accident.

Things To Remember

Saskatchewan is a versatile place, and conditions can change from one day to the next. You can experience all four seasons in summer, autumn, winter and spring. With that in mind, it’s essential to remember the following things when you buy a vehicle from a car dealer in saskatoon. These will make sure you’re always prepared and ready for what the roads throw at you as a motorist.

The Weather

There are more than two inches of snow per year in Saskatoon. So, the odds are high that you’ll be caught in a blizzard at some point. When you are, it’s best to have a vehicle that is capable of getting you home in one piece – a truck with 4-wheel drive. The extra power, stability and clearance off the ground should ensure you don’t get stuck on the freezing freeway.

Of course, if a 4×4 is too much money, you can winterize your car by adding snow wheels and carrying antifreeze for the engine. Also, pack a kit with emergency supplies in case the worst does happen and you need extra clothing and something to eat and drink.

Speed Limits

Luxury cars might be on the rise because people from Saskatoon are changing their attitudes towards them, but it doesn’t mean you should buy one. One of the reasons against a luxury model in Saskatoon is the city speed limit – it’s 50km/h on all streets unless otherwise signposted. Driving a Ferrari, then, is going to be a wasted experience as you won’t be able to use it for its primary purpose. 

Plus, there are proposals to lower the speed limit from 50km/h as most cars don’t hit the threshold. For now, it seems that a practical vehicle that is agile and powerful and can do the school run might be the best bet in Saskatoon.

Insurance Premiums

Paying a premium for an insurance policy is one thing that annoys motorists around the world. Not only are they expensive, but there are instances when the companies use loopholes to avoid picking up the tab. Still, you need one as a legal requirement in Saskatoon, so you should try and reduce the costs by staying focused. A major reason for car accidents in the Saskatoon area is a loss of concentration.

Auto theft is also a big concern according to SGI, which is why you need a car that you can keep secure. Investing in one with 21st-century safety features should prevent thieves from boosting your insurance premiums.

Another reason not to invest in a luxury vehicle is the policy in neighboring B.C. Legislators passed a law that owners of a car worth $150,000 or more need a private policy with higher premiums. Although it doesn’t affect Saskatoon directly at this moment, the thought is that this policy will become widespread throughout Canada to stop average ratepayers subsidizing repairs. It might not happen, but if it does, owners of high-end cars will lose out in a big way.

How To Experience Luxury Without Buying

Buying a quality car might not make sense practically, yet it doesn’t mean you don’t have the urge to see and test drive one. The good news is that you can do it without paying over the odds thanks to Rock the River 2019. Based in Saskatoon, this car-extravaganza is an annual event on the banks of the South Saskatchewan river. During the biggest car street in the whole of the west coast, vintage and classic cars hit the 8th Street East loop and show off. Some park and open their hoods so that the audience can see what’s underneath and ask questions.

For those who want to get behind the wheel, Poker Run is the best bet. A competition organized by a radio station, participants drive classic vehicles to different spots in Saskatoon. Along the way, they pick up cards and the driver with the best hand at the end wins. You can do it by signing up and hoping you get picked to play.

The Western Development Museum has a permanent collection of cars for Saskatoon history buffs.

Car Dealer Saskatoon

Buying a car is never easy, so use this guide to try and make it as smooth as possible.

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